Angkor Thom - The Great City, Cambodia

angkor thom - the great city, cambodia
angkor thom - the great city, cambodia
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Angkor Thom, The Great City

 

With a name that means the “Great City”, Angkor Thom is a complex built by Jayavaman VII on top of an ancient city’s ruins. Said ancient city had once been under Udayadityavarman II who ruled from 1056 to 1066 A.D. A large square is formed by an exterior wall which, on each side, extends up to 3 kilometers.

Although most of the large moat which has a width of a hundred meters no longer has water and is quite dominated by vegetation, the 5 gates are still as fascinating as ever. The Southern Gate is what most visitors pass through and see first when they arrive at this spectacular complex.

Unfortunately, looters cut off most of the giants heads and those that have survived the ravages of time have been removed and replaced by replicas in cement to preserve them from further damage and for safe keeping. There are several important temples within the city that can be accessed quite easily. These are the identical Terraces of the Leper King and the Elephant, Baphuon, Bayan, and Phimeanakas.

Angkor Thom is a Buddhist structure, unlike Angkor Wat which was dedicated to Vishnu the Hindu god. The giant heads that are on top of the gateways are not of Hindu religion origin but of Lokesvara, the all seeing god.